SU Candidate: Cameron Prentice, President

 Her Campus caught up with SU candidate, Cameron Prentice, to hear about his manifesto and campaign. 

Course: History

Year: 3rd year

Tell us what the role of President entails.

The role of the President is to be the 'Face of the SU' to both the University and the wider public. It involves sitting on some of the highest decision making boards in the SU and involves having consistent, direct contact with some of the most senior members of the University. Basically if I were your SU President, I would be representing all 34,000 students to the University and on a national level – and trying to improve the SU and the student experience for every single student.

What are the ‘best bits’ of your manifesto?

It’s impossible to pick! Here’s a few that I think are the most important:

  • Officer vlogs to increase transparency and publicise the great work of the Officers 

  • Integration of International Welcome and Welcome 

  • Implement SU online events calendar

  • Increase the number of gender neutral toilets

  • Continue with lecture capture campaign

Tell us about your campaign - why the #YesWeCam and thumbs up?

When I was coming up with a campaign slogan, I was trying to think of what worked with my name, and as most people know me as Cam I decided to channel my inner Obama and choose Yes We Cam! The slogan and the thumbs up are designed to show that my campaign is there to empower students – that’s exactly what the SU is there to do also.

The SU certainly faced some criticism after their decision to remove 7-Legged from the Karni calendar after the Alton Towers controversy. What do you think about this?

I think that Karni are in a great place now to create and innovate with ideas for a new event to raise money for charity. My close links and involvement with Karnival activities over the years have given me a great appreciation for all the work that they do. It's now a really exciting opportunity for Karni to diversify the events they put on for student and work closely with the SU to continue their amazing fundraising work for charity.

The rebranding of the SU came as a shock to many students who returned this year. How do you plan on addressing the lack of transparency between the union and the students?

As your SU President, I'd be super keen to make sure that students always know what the Officers are doing. I plan to do this by introducing monthly SU officer vlogs in a similar way to how the Birmingham SU officers do it. I'd want to continue the great work of the current officer team in using social media to connect with students. There are still so many activities that I've not had a chance to get involved with, and as President I would try and attend as many student run events as I could to appreciate the hard work of students and get their perspective on what the SU is doing.

What are some of the difficulties do you think you’ll face in implementing your manifesto and how do you plan on addressing this?

One of the biggest challenges is that the SU primarily targets and caters for students studying on University Park. Part of my manifesto is to provide as much support as possible to the associations across campuses, including UNAD, SUPRA, NMA, MedSoc and the SB Guild. Establishing a greater SU presence across all campuses won’t happen in a year, however, by talking to these groups and finding out what they want from the SU, I believe we can make the first steps towards a stronger and more unified SU. Improving the counselling service always comes up on people’s manifestos. Rather than promise to expand the counselling service, I’m offering to strengthen the support from Welfare Officers in the new Student Service Centres, and across all the schools. This will have a much wider impact on a greater proportion of students than promising to improve the counselling service.

Who do you think is your biggest competition?

This year’s race is an interesting one! Personally, I think Sooty and Sweep are changing the manifesto game. All of the Presidential candidates have important points on their manifestos and a solid presence on campus. My campaign is all about educating people about what the SU does, why it’s important, and how my manifesto fits into everything. I’m trying not to be influenced by the others, but just get out there and show everyone why I think I’d be the person for president!

Any final words? 

It sounds cliche but I've wanted to run for president since I saw Ellie McWilliam (SU Pres 2013-14) give a speech to our group on a campus tour back when I was gangly 18 year old on an open day. Since studying at Nottingham, I’ve got heavily stuck-in to SU activities such as being President of Nightingale Hall, playing Korfball, running Welcome Week and policy-making – basically getting involved as much as I can! The experiences I’ve had over the past few years definitely influenced my decision to run in this election. Honestly, I genuinely want to contribute to improving the student experience and represent all students to the Uni.

Edited by Jenine Tudtud